Argentina have the finest attacking talent in the Copa America, as highlighted by the presence of Leo Messi, Sergio Agüero, Carlos Tevez, Gonzalo Higuaín, and Ángel Di María. Thus far, though, they have not played well enough.
Drawing 2-2 against Paraguay and then winning 1-0 against Uruguay and Jamaica is far below the standard you would expect for players of a world-class standard. They need to kick-start their tournament against a Colombia side with an ineffective attacking identity.
Colombia launched their Copa America campaign with an unexpected 1-0 defeat against Venezuela, then recovering with a 1-0 win over Brazil before drawing 0-0 with Peru. Colombia simply haven’t managed to find their attacking rhythm, finishing third in Group C and going through to the quarter-finals by virtue of a playoff draw.
Head coach Gerardo Martino is persisting with a narrow 4-2-2-2 formation that is not getting the best out of attacking lynchpins James Rodríguez and Cuadrado. All of this is to accommodate captain Radamel Falcao, who is yet to find the back of the net in the tournament.
From a comparative standpoint, Argentina are much closer to getting it together. They have played well in spells and should feel relatively confident given the extremely poor performances of Colombia.
By this stage of the tournament, it feels like it’s too late for Colombia to correct their issues. Head coach José Pékerman, who used to coach Argentina, made a mistake in tying his fate to that of Radamel Falcao.
Argentine national Pékerman made Falcao captain on the eve of tournament and is now reluctant to drop him. By having Falcao in the side, Pékerman feels compelled to play a 4-2-2-2 formation to suit Falcao, rather than a 4-2-3-1 to suit Rodríguez and Cuadrado.
Tip one: Argentina to qualify @ 1.44 with ladbrokes
Tip two: Both teams to score @ 2.10 with ladbrokes
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Argentina are much more appealing to qualify because they are in a superior tactical position compared to Colombia. For Colombia, not playing with their optimal line-up and formation for the entire tournament makes a successful late switch highly unlikely.